Vaccine Passport: Where it would or wouldn’t be?
|Vaccine passport: Where it would or wouldn’t be?|
People have been getting the COVID-19 vaccine for a few months now. And some states, countries, even entertainment venues are letting those among us who have been vaccinated move about more freely — as long as they can prove they have gotten their full doses.
Which places will require such proof? And should they? Here’s what we know so far.
Vaccine Passport: What is it?
Vaccine passports show whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. A COVID passport could allow people who can prove they’ve received the full dose — or have already survived the disease and may have immunity that way — to travel with fewer restrictions, attend concerts or sporting events without getting tested, according to Nbcboston.
Vaccine Passport: Where might it be used?
The outlook for the middle ground between shopping and international travel is murkier. Consider restaurants or gyms. Making sure that customers have been vaccinated may feel advantageous for a restaurant owner eager to return to full-capacity dining while protecting the health of employees. Same for a gym owner hoping to resume exercise or spin classes with a bunch of heavily breathing people jammed together. Promoters of large business conferences, concerts, basketball or hockey games and other events where you're inside with hundreds of people for long periods may be interested, as well.
Those scenarios are plausible and likely legal, but Terry Jones, founder of Kayak and Travelocity and a former CIO of American Airlines, thinks making these situations passport-required is unlikely in the US. Business conventions, for example, take months to plan, and by the time something like CES 2022 happens, COVID in the US may be under control. Jones also thinks it's unlikely for domestic US flights. "On an everyday scale that won't be implemented," he said. "I think we have enough division here around this issue that most places won't implement them."
That means the outlook at this point is developing. Some restaurants or events could require proof of vaccination for customers, but they'd largely be in regions of the country that are amenable to their use. And even in those areas, there'd likely be a restaurant down the street that won't have that restriction. Customers will decide which mandates they'll tolerate, and business will adjust. Or we'll see a hybrid model where either a vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be accepted (more on that later), noted by Cnet.
Vaccine Passport: Who is against the use of it?
|Using them as another culture war battle as they did with masks and lockdowns, Republican elected officials in particular are decrying any domestic use of vaccine passports as a violation of personal freedoms. One of the loudest critics has been Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who issued an executive order April 2 banning businesses and government agencies in the state from requiring vaccination passports. Texas Governor Greg Abbott followed with a similar order for the Lone Star State on April 6. That kind of opposition will likely make the use of vaccine passports another stake in the fence that has divided red state and blue state during the coronavirus pandemic.|
Vaccine Passport: What are the roadblocks to using it?
That political division about passports is what will prevent the idea from taking hold, at least on a large scale. While some states are open to passports, others are staunchly opposed (see below). And without a national mandate -- the Biden administration has said that passports are a matter for the private sector (also see below) -- no business will be compelled to adopt them.
Beyond politics, there's the issue of standardization. Dozens of passports are in development, which will take time to sort out. While there are a limited number of cruise lines, there are tens of thousands of event venues in the US. For vaccine passports to have any traction in that world, there would need to be consensus from both artists and the venues on how passports would work and which apps would be accepted.
Do vaccine passports have to be digital?
Vaccine passports don’t have to be digital, but they would make the travel process smoother.
“Imagine a future where a plane lands in an airport and a hundred people have a travel pass, 100 have another health wallet, 50 have bits of paper and another 25 have some kind of government document,” said Jamie Smith, senior director of business development at Evernym, a developer that has been working with I.A.T.A. and others on developing a vaccine pass. “What does the airport do? How do they process all those people in a standard, simple way?”
The European Union’s law enforcement agency said this week that sales of fake negative test results are becoming more widespread, another reason the industry is trying to develop digital passes that are secure, reported by Nytimes.
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